Atlantic Gospel Chapel Messages

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Alex Kremer 06-20-2020 // Stephen’s Defense; Acts 7:1-14

As Acts 6 closed, we saw Stephen, "full of grace and power...performing great wonders and signs among the people."  Those from among the Jews who argued with him were "unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking" (Acts 6:8, 10).  The Jewish leaders therefore brought Stephen before the Sanhedrin, bringing against him false charges that he spoke against the temple and against Moses, His servant.

In the opening portion of Acts 7, we see Stephen begin to make his defense.  First, we see him address those present as his brothers and fathers.  While his accusers treated him with no respect, Stephen responded with respect, establishing common through the worship of the same God.  But in his defense, he also gave an indictment of those accusing him.  His indictment focused on three themes:

  1. God, and therefore the people of God, are not restricted to a certain location, such as a land or temple.
  2. Israel has a history of rejecting the prophets and deliverers sent by God
  3. God's vindication of His servants.

Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Word.

Alex Kremer 06-13-2021 // Stephen; A Turning Point for the Church; Acts 6:8-15

As we return to the book of Acts, we catch up with Stephen.  Up to this point, Luke's focus in Acts has been on the church in Jerusalem, the preaching, the growth, and the persecution has largely been in Jerusalem.

In Stephen, we come to a turning point in the book of Acts, from a focus from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria.  We will see that the death of Stephen is the climax of the Jewish persecution in Jerusalem.  His death provided the impetus for the spread of the church into Judea and Samaria.  Finally, in Stephen, we are introduces to Saul of Tarsus, later known as Paul.

In today's lesson, we are introduced to the character of Stephen and the beginnings of the trial that will eventually lead to his execution.

Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Word.

Alex Kremer 05-23-2021 // Homosexuality and the Bible

Homosexuality is an issue that has increased in prominence within our own world and culture, as well as the church.  The month of June is Pride Month, in which society, as a whole, celebrates and affirms the homosexual lifestyle.

But what does Scripture say regarding homosexuality?  And how do we respond to the world's claims, not only about the legitimacy of homosexuality, but claims that the Word of God affirms this lifestyle?  And finally, how does the Gospel inform our response to the world around us?

Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May the Word of God provide you with guidance on this very relevant topic.

Alex Kremer 05-16-2021 // Create In Me A Clean Heart; Psalm 51:10-19

In Psalm 51 we see the penitent prayer of David following his sin with Bathsheba.  In the first part of this psalm, we saw David approaching God for forgiveness, grace and mercy on the basis of God's own character.

Now in the second half, we see David approaching God seeking renewal of his inner most being; "Create in me a clean heart."  As we look at David's heart, we see that his purpose was not just for his own forgiveness and renewal, but that as a forgiven sinner, he could instruct others on how to approach God to find grace and mercy themselves.

As you listen to today's lesson, may you be encouraged through this prayer that was born out of David's own failure and God's immeasurable grace.

Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Holy Word.

Alex Kremer 05-02-2021 // Psalm 51:1-9; De-Sinning the Sinner

Many of us learn by doing.  Others demonstrate something and we do it.  When the disciples asked Jesus, "Teach us to pray...", the Lord prayed, demonstrating a pattern of prayer for His followers.

In the same way, Psalm 51 is a teaching Psalm.  In it, David offers a demonstration of how a sinner can approach God to confess our sin and to trust in the goodness and loving kindness of a God who is at once both Holy and gracious and merciful.

In Psalm 51, we see that David makes no attempt to down play or cover his own sin.  We see David confessing that his sin, although involving others, was ultimately against God alone.  And finally we see David repenting of his sin; acknowledging that God is just and blameless in His judgment.

But then David turns his demonstration to trust; for He turns to the very character and nature of God as both Holy and righteous, but also gracious and merciful.  And in his prayer, David asks three things of God:

  1. Purify me with hyssop; literally De-Sin me
  2. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow
  3. Blot out all my iniquities

During today's lesson, may we be exhorted to look honestly at our own sin, then come to a Holy and Gracious Father, trusting Him to forgive our sin through the blood of His Son.

Thank you for listening.  May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Word.

Alex Kremer 04-18-2021 // You Are the Man; An Introduction to Psalm 51

When David wrote Psalm 51, he did so with the following introduction, "For the choir director.  A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. (NASB)"  As a psalm of contrition, seeking the Lord's pardon, Psalm 51 touches the sinner to our very core, because Psalm 51 sees us at the depth of our sin, but it also sees God at the heights of His mercy.

To get a full grasp of this Psalm, we must first look into the historical background that led David to write it.  In today's lesson, we conduct a quick examination of the rise, and downfall of King David.  We see him at his best; favored by God, receiving blessings from the Lord and showing great faithfulness to the Lord.  But we see him at his worst; the 'Man after God's own heart,' tempted to and caught up in sins of adultery and murder.

But at his lowest point, David turns to the only place he can go; into the extended arms of the Lord's mercy.  And it is there that we find our forgiveness.

As you listen to today's lesson, may you be struck not just by the depth of our own sin, but by the great heights of God's mercy toward undeserving sinners.

Thank you for listening to today's lesson.

Alex Kremer 04-11-2021 // The Threat of Disunity Within the Body; Acts 6:1-7

It has been approximately five years since the birth of the church at Pentecost.  The church continues to see phenomenal growth.  As noted in Acts 4, the generosity within the church was unique as the members of the body in Jerusalem did not consider anything to be their own, but shared it with each other, having all things in common.

But this growth also brought some administrative issues.  The Hellenistic Jews felt their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.  These were Jews who, as descendants of the dispersion, grew up outside Israel and therefore spoke Greek and grew in a Greek culture.

This was an issue which, if left unchecked, could threaten the unity of the the still young church.  How the Apostles dealt with this issue serves as an example for us and drives home the primacy of the Gospel in the life of the Church.

Thank you for listening to today's message.  May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Word.

Alex Kremer 03-28-2021 // The Early Church - Growth, Resistance and Persecution; Acts 5:12-42

As the place of worship for the nation of Israel, the temple became the place where the Apostles would gather to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  But doing so also brought resistance and persecution from the Jewish religious leaders.

Ordered to stop preaching in the name of Jesus, Peter, speaking for the rest of the Apostles made the choice clear; they had to obey God rather than men.  The question for us becomes, when face by persecution, which will inevitably come, how will we respond?

Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Word.

Alex Kremer 03-114-21 // No Trivial Sin; Acts 4:32-5:11

The Bible frequently calls to mind the faults and failures of Biblical heroes.  We remember Noah growing a vineyard and getting drunk on the wine produced from its fruit.  And there is Moses who, against God's command, struck the rock to bring forth water.  Samson is noted for, among other things, fornication.  David committed adultery followed by murder to cover his sin.

We may think it exciting to see God pouring out judgment upon His enemies, but how do we respond when His anger is poured out upon His own people.

In Acts, we see a church marked with love and compassion for its own; Scripture recording that there were no needy among them for those who possessed property sold it and gave the proceeds for the apostles to distribute among those with need (Acts 4:34).

But this also brought temptation and sin.  In the opening verses of Acts 5, we are told of Ananias and Sapphira.  As believers, this husband and wife were caught up in sin which, if not dealt with, would threaten the nature of the new church.

As you listen to today's lesson, may we be reminded of the serious nature of sin, even within the hearts, minds and lives of believers.  But may we also be reminded of the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior.

Thank you for listening.  May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Word.

Alex Kremer 02-28-2021 // Comfort in the Face of Persecution - Acts 4:23-31

From her very beginning, the church has faced persecution in various forms and through various means.  In our modern times, the church in China meets in secret.  Elsewhere, in opposition to government demands to stop meeting during COVID, some pastors have been jailed, with freedom offered if they agree to stop preaching.

In Acts we read about the earliest persecution against the church.  Fresh from being arrested for proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Peter and John are released with orders to stop speaking in the name of this Jesus.  But rather than sink into despair, Peter and John returned to the church, turning instead to the Lord in prayer.

The message for the church today is the same.  In times of persecution, we find comfort, together with the church, calling upon the Lord in prayer.

Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May the Lord bless you and comfort you through His Word.

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